Reading Hypertext and the Experience of Literature

Abstract (in English): 

Hypertext has been promoted as a vehicle that will change literary reading, especially through its recovery of images, supposed to be suppressed by print, and through the choice offered to the reader by links. Evidence from empirical studies of reading, however, suggests that these aspects of hypertext may disrupt reading. In a study of readers who read either a simulated literary hypertext or the same text in linear form, we found a range of significant differences: these suggest that hypertext discourages the absorbed and reflective mode that characterizes literary reading.

(Source: abstract.)

Pull Quotes: 

The key issue here will not be how far literature can be made to dance to the multimedia tune in order to seize the attention of the Internet-surfing audience for electronic entertainment, but how far we can establish the distinctive qualities of the literary experience that makes it a clear and significant alternative to what commercial interests are willing to provide.

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Eric Dean Rasmussen